Buy cinematic cameras: what camera shall I choose?
The big sensored digital cinema camera that we’re all familiar with today has trailed behind a stimulating history of cinematic camera evolution. Remember that it’s digital video, not film, or celluloid, and the idiom ‘digital film’ doesn’t really make sense either.
Appreciating the relatively brief past of the cinematic digital camera is helpful in understanding why we now have lots of different cinematic cameras today, and why they have congregated on some important similarities which have become the ‘standard’. It’ll also help in realising why there are so many variables between brands as well you can choose when the time to buy a cinematic camera arrives.
From the miniDV home camcorder style cameras, to Canon’s XL1 and prevalent Sony PD150, from interlaced standard definition to professional high definition broadcast cameras the truest heritage of today’s large sensor cameras originates from TV and broadcast.
It may feel like an insult to our artistic side, but our digital cinematic cameras are more closely connected to DV than to celluloid film. However, it’s the aspiration for a more cinematic picture quality with more filmic features that gave digital video technology a key change in direction. This yearning did not originate from the professionals in broadcasting, but from the profound dissatisfaction coming from the new generation of indie filmmakers.
Nowadays, the truly cinematic cameras are an outcome of the most open-minded of yesterday’s geniuses chasing that dream of having 35mm quality without the film being involved and the associated costs. This culminated into what is now two branches of the same digital ‘tree’. The first and original branch endures today by providing us with the latest in HD and UHD broadcast cameras and broadcast zoom lenses, where resolution is at the forefront of the mind-set.
The second branch has led to the ‘35mm’ cinematic cameras, established to function within the current 35mm film camera world and is intended to fulfil vastly different needs from the first branch. These are the needs of the big screen, where image quality, and not necessarily resolution, is dominant. Ergonomically the camera needs to fit within the film set and the current film camera unit, not just to a lone operator often seen in the broadcasting world.
If you need to buy cinematic cameras, nowadays you have more choice than ever when you go to buy equipment and accessories, spread over a much wider range of prices and features than could have been conceived a decade ago. The extensive digital cinematic camera market you as a customer and us a provider, simply did not exist before. It’s thanks to those visionaries that we now operate this diverse industry.
Remember that there is no such thing as the camera for everyone. They have all grown and evolved in form, features and function to achieve their own particular fortes, but these days you are certain to find more than a few choices that will suit your distinct necessities when the time to buy a cinematic camera comes.